The Victories Keep On Coming! (Singer, Oliver, Guzzardo)

September 22, 2016

Partner Scott Singer recently secured a defense verdict in Supreme Court, Queens County.

The case involved an alleged over administration of fluid to the then 60 year old plaintiff during an orthopedic procedure. The plaintiff claimed that as a result he was caused to suffer urinary retention necessitating the use of a Foley Catheter for several months and then self intermittent catheterization until he died (of unrelated causes) 3 years later. Our Hospital’s defense was that the monitoring during the procedure was appropriate and the retention was caused by an occult urinary problem unrelated to the fluid administration. The case, tried in Queens County in August, resulted in a unanimous defense verdict for the Hospital.

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On August 17, 2016, Kenneth S. Oliver received a unanimous jury verdict on behalf of the defendants in Supreme Court, Kings County, on a damages-only trial in which plaintiff, a 62 year old male, claimed to have sustained multiple permanent and serious injuries to his cervical spine, lumbar spine, shoulders and knees, requiring three surgeries within five months after being rear-ended by defendants’ ambulette while stopped at a red light. Plaintiff also claimed a recently diagnosed right knee meniscal tear due to “over-compensation” from a meniscal tear in the left knee which had been diagnosed and treated soon after the accident, for which a total knee replacement was alleged to be needed in the future. Plaintiff called two treating physicians, an orthopedist and pain management specialist, to establish injury causation.

The defense contended that plaintiff’s injuries were due to pre-existing degenerative arthritic conditions revealed in clinical and surgical records and radiographic imaging studies, and that there was no evidence of blunt force trauma to the neck, low back, shoulders and knees. The defense was supported by an expert in orthopedic surgery who conducted an independent medical examination in which limitations of ranges of motion of the allegedly injured areas were found, which were attributed to long-standing degenerative changes. A biomechanical engineering expert testified to opinions that the accident was the result of a low speed impact which generated insufficient forces in the opposite direction to have caused plaintiff’s injuries, based primarily on fundamental principles of physics and biomechanics, crash test and energy crush test data specific to the vehicles involved and manufacturing specifications, plaintiff’s testimony concerning his body and vehicle movements on impact, as well as photographs and repair estimates of the damage to plaintiff’s vehicle.

Plaintiff’s settlement demand was $800,000 at the beginning of the trial.  Given the potential sustainable exposure of $750,000 to $1,000,000, a “high-low” agreement of $475,000/$100,000 was reached shortly prior to the jury verdict.

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Joseph M. Guzzardo obtained a unanimous defense verdict in Kings County on September 16, 2016 following a two day liability trial.  Plaintiff, 63 years old, was struck by our client’s ambulette on Mulberry Street in Manhattan on the morning of June 8, 2011.  Although plaintiff was admittedly jaywalking, he contended that he was half way across the street when he was struck, and that our client negligently failed to observe and avoid hitting him. Plaintiff developed bradycardia immediately after the incident and presented at the Bellevue Hospital with asystole. He was intubated and revived, ultimately requiring a permanent pacemaker. Plaintiff never returned to work, allegedly due to his lingering cardiac injuries from the accident. We established that plaintiff had not looked before crossing, and that the point of contact with the client’s vehicle was consistent with plaintiff darting into the street. Plaintiff’s demand throughout trial was $495,000 against our client’s offer of $25,000. The Brooklyn jury deliberated for approximately 15 minutes before returning a unanimous verdict that our client was not negligent.

* Attorney advertising. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.